UCL Department of Geography


The challenges of protecting refugees

5 January 2018

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh invited to Geneva High Commissioner's Dialogue

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (2nd from right) at the meeting

On Tuesday 12 December, Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh was invited to present insights from her research at the UNHCR High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. The meeting aimed to help the UN Refugee Agency move forward in drafting a new Global Compact on Refugees, to be presented in 2018.

She focused on the importance of refugee reception and admissions processes of sensitivity to gender, religion and refugee-host relations. There are also great challenges for the international community in responding to immediate mass emergencies and needs while also giving attention to individuals and their rights in contexts of displacement.

Elena drew on her research, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, which underpins her MRU Policy Brief on Gender, Religion and Humanitarian Responses to Refugees, and her long-standing work on refugees and host communities in the Middle East, supported by the UK’s Research Councils, the Leverhulme Trust and the European Research Council.

She also contributed to a panel discussing, ‘Reception and Admission’, alongside Ambassador Boudjemâa Delm (Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations), Ambassador Antje Leendertse (Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations), and Mr Jan Egeland (Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).